Tag Archives: train

Day 20 – Trains, Grain and Jet Planes


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Today was the second last day of this epic roadtrip and to be honest, it doesn’t really feel like I’ve been away for three weeks.
Much of todays driving did seem to be going through grain country again although that turned into pasture and then fruit tree and vine.

First detour today was up to Quorn, heading through the Pichi Richi Pass beside the Pichi Richi Railway. I did go on the railway many years ago, but can’t remember much accept for Woolshed Flat where the engine is turned around using a triangle. (think triangle but with inward curving sides)
I’d forgotten how beautiful the terrain is through the pass. I guess that’s the whole Flinders Ranges. I’ll have to get that into another trip and next time when the train is running.

vlcsnap-2011-03-24-23h43m42s44Back south, we headed into the Mount Remarkable National Park to check out the Alligator Gorge. A dull day for gorge visiting and absolutely no-one else there. It also seems to be the park of upside-down speed bumps.

 

 

 

 

I thought we might be heading down through the Barossa Valley today on mission to find big things but didn’t get that far. We did however journey through the Clare Valley which is also wine country (Although Annie’s Lane is the only winery I recognised).
I was surprised to see an F/A 18 Super Hornet fly over (it certainly looked like the super hornet) as we drove through the valley. I assume it was flying out of RAAF Edinburgh as part of the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU) based there.

Todays primary big or giant object was the Big Miner in Kapunda. We found him and also found out that Kapunda is claimed to be Australia’s first mining town with the copper being mined there from 1842 until 1879.

From the Clare Valley all the way up to Morgan we seemed to be following old railway lines in various states from just the reservation existing to rails still existing. I get the impression this area used to be very rail heavy with three different gauge railways operating.

In Morgan we met the mighty Murray River and I must say I’m impressed at how high it is (certainly the highest I can ever remember seeing it).
We crossed the river by car ferry at Cadell and continued following the river through Ramco and Waikerie where we joined the Sturt Highway. Here we unexpectedly found another big object in the form of a giant Orange Tree. From a distance, my first comment was “the big diseased fruit”.

Driving onwards, we were really in fruit country, driving through endless landscapes of fruit trees. This lead us into Berri, known for its fruit juice company but also evidently Australia’s biggest winery, Berri Estate. (on their sign) ? I’ve never heard of them.
Our primary mission in Berri was to find the Big Orange. Once again using vague directions and knowing that the fabled orange was now closed, we set about looking anyway. Success!

We’re now in Renmark for the night, a town (probably like many on the Murray) that has lots of houseboats.

Tomorrow onto more of the Murray and finally home.

Day 15 – Gold country

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Today’s journey was a relatively short trip to Kalgoorlie, however in our usual style, we found plenty of detours to make the journey take a little longer.

We headed via another huge rock formation called The Humps and up the 170km road to Marvel Loch. This is basically a small mining town with plenty of old abandoned mines around along with a few decent sized open cut mines that are still active.
After Marvel Loch, we took a track out to the abandoned May Queen Mine and on the track drove through a large spider web, with large spider included. (I moment I wish I had the video running at 60 fps.)

After a fuel stop (for us, not the car) in Southern Cross, we headed along the Great Eastern Highway to Pumping Station number 6. This is the ruins of one of the historic pumping stations that was part of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme. This scheme delivered water via a huge pipeline to the towns of Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. It’s still in use today but utilizing modern pumping stations.

Goldfields Water Scheme, Pumping Station No.6Stumpy tail lizard
The pumping station and one of the locals.

From the pumping station, we followed the pipeline for about 5km before getting back down to the main road. Next side trip was the Karalee Dam and Rock.
Once again, this rock had been used to collect water and this time a long iron aqueduct had been constructed between the rock and dam.

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Following on from this, we detoured beside the pipeline again between Woolgangie and the No.8 pumping station along the Golden Pipeline Trail.

Getting to Coolgardie, we stopped past the old railway station and an abandoned opencut mine.

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We are now in Kalgoorlie for the next two nights where we’ll be checking out the Boulder Market Day and then doing a tour of the KCGM Superpit gold mine (Largest opencut in Australia). We did stop by the lookout and take few shots just after sunset. Absolutely huge.

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